What is sustainable procurement?

Sustainable procurement involves the three key themes of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic responsibility.

Environmentally friendly procurement

  • Key goals include improving energy and material efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, in addition to reducing the use of harmful substances and emissions through procurement.
  • The environmental goals and criteria of procurement may be related to the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, low-carbon operations and the choice and recycling of materials, as well as reducing waste, to name just a few examples.

Socially responsible procurement

  • Goods and services are produced in a manner that respects human rights and fundamental labour rights.
  • The goals and criteria of procurement include accessibility, the promotion of employment opportunities and dignified work, compliance with human and labour rights and ethical trade, in addition to creating participation opportunities for small and medium-sized enterprises, for example.

Economically responsible procurement

  • Healthy competition and lawful entrepreneurship are taken into account and continued revenue for public services is ensured in the public sector. Aspects related to these include promoting healthy competition, combating the shadow economy and financial crime and ensuring the accumulation of taxes and other fees.

An estimated two-thirds of Finnish invitations to tender include general sustainability aspects and around 40 per cent include more detailed sustainability aspects.

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